Chicago Posts Small Gains, Although Export Competition Remains Intense

02/03/16 -- Soycomplex: Beans closed with small gains. China's COFCO estimates their 2015/16 soybean imports needs at 83 MMT, which is 2.5 MMT higher than the USDA. Much of those needs with be furnished by South America however. FCStone raised their forecast for Brazil to 98.6 MMT, up 600 TMT from their previous estimate. Informa went even higher at 101.3 MMT, up 800 TMT from previously. Both would be record amounts. Trade estimates for tomorrow's weekly export sales report for beans differ quite widely, from between 250,000 to 750,000 MT. Mar 16 Soybeans settled at $8.54 1/4, up 3 1/2 cents; May 16 Soybeans settled at $8.61 1/2, up 3 1/2 cents; Mar 16 Soybean Meal settled at $261.20, up $3.10; Mar 16 Soybean Oil settled at 30.17, down 15 points.

Corn: The corn market closed with token gains. Brazil shipped out a record 5.4 MMT of corn in February, and also exported all time monthly high volumes in both December and January, although these are now expected to drop off as the soybean harvest progresses. Weekly US ethanol production last week fell 7,000 barrels per day from the previous week to 987,000 barrels per day. South Korea's KFA are tendering for 60,000 MT of South American corn. Informa raised their estimate for Brazilian corn production to 82.5 MMT. That's up 0.9 MMT from last month, but still 1.5 MMT less than the USDA's 84.0 MMT forecast. Trade estimates for tomorrow's weekly export sales report are seen around 900 TMT. Mar 16 Corn settled at $3.54 1/2, up 3/4 cent; May 16 Corn settled at $3.56 1/4, up 1/2 cent.

Wheat: The wheat market closed firmer. Egypt bought 120,000 MT of Romanian wheat and 60,000 MT of Ukrainian wheat for April 5-14 delivery. The average price including freight was $184.71/tonne versus US values of around $210/tonne. Taiwan are tendering for 101,000 MT of US wheat. Japan are in the market for their regular weekly tender of 126,698 MT of wheat, most of which will be US origin. Jordan cancelled a 100,000 MT wheat tender, but did buy 100,000 MT of barley in a separate tender. The US are having to scrap for every last little order on wheat. Trade estimates for tomorrow's weekly export sales report are 250,000 to 550,000 MT.May 16 CBOT Wheat settled at $4.50 1/4, up 4 1/4 cents; May 16 KCBT Wheat settled at $4.55, up 5 1/2 cents; May 16 MGEX Wheat settled at $4.88 1/2, up 3 1/4 cents.